There are many reasons you might find it useful to be able to share all or part of a Microsoft Project 2003 document with another software application. One common reason is to be able to prepare reports in other applications. Similarly, it is often useful to import data from other applications into Microsoft Project, especially to avoid retyping large amounts of data. The following scenarios illustrate some of the uses for Project's data-exchange capability:
You might have a list of tasks or resource names in Excel that you want to use in a Project plan. You might also have a list of tasks in Outlook. It is faster and more accurate to import the data than to type it again in Project.
You might want to analyze some of your Project data by using the special calculating power of Microsoft Excel.
There might be others in your organization who want to query your project, but who don't have Project installed on their PCs. If the project is saved in a database format such as Access or SQL Server, you can work on it in Project and the others can use Access-aware applications to view the Project data details.
You might prefer to publish your project on a corporate intranet or on the Internet, via Web pages, using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) or eXtensible Markup Language (XML).
This chapter helps you choose the best method for exchanging data between a Microsoft Project 2003 project file and other software applications. As illustrated by the examples in the preceding list, you can transfer all the Project data or only a part of it. For small amounts of data, it is probably easier to copy and paste, using the Windows Clipboard. Chapter 18, "Copying, Pasting, and Inserting Data with Other Applications," describes how to copy and paste data between Project files and other file formats. For larger transfers, it is usually easiest to export and import data files as described in this chapter.